Posted December 10, 2008 3:52 pm by with 4 comments

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on FacebookBuffer this page

Captain CrunchJay Stevens, MySpace‘s vice president of international online marketing, recently said that corporations should embrace fan sites on networks like MySpace and Facebook versus seek legal action against them. His comments come during a panel at MediaPost’s Email Insider Summit.

Sitting with Stevens on the panel was Karla Venell, the manager of database and email marketing at General Mills. Vernal says, “most of the (fan sites are) probably good for us.”

When speaking about the folks that create brand centric fan pages Stevens says, “The best thing to do is empower those individuals as much as possible and engage with them.” He then goes further to say, “They like the attention and notoriety that comes with being a brand ambassador.”

This is an interesting comment from a MySpace executive given that they are basically advising corporations to use the natural tendency of their free network versus buying adspace. Stevens might also understand that the fundamental basis for his company’s future growth is developing strong positive communities around ideas that people enjoy (brands). Or this might be an attempt to minimize foreseen legal liabilities in regards to things like trademark and copyright infringement.

Either way, it’s clear that brand engagement in social media can be very powerful and utilizing “organically grown” networks that have been built by real fans is probably one of the best methods.

Now, I want to know what ever happened with my favorite fan page??

  • Chick-Fil-A did this on Facebook by merging their official page with the fan page. It has worked wonders for them. More companies should try it.

  • Retail brands should take a cue from the entertainment industry and engage with the top fan groups or “fan sites” online and offer them exclusive content, insider info, and general knowledge of and appreciation for their enthusiasm instead of hostility and legal action.

    Jaime Hood’s last blog post..The Problem With Online Media Measurement Tools

  • Fan pages are cool. Can’t complain about those. 😉 Truthfully I stopped to take a look at this post because there’s something about Captain Crunch that makes me smile. I think I’ll go and get some. Yeah.

    Kenney and Kim’s last blog post..New Make Money Online Blog Grabs Top Coveted Google Rankings

  • I don’t think companies will have a choice, they will have to figure out ways to incorporate these pages in their sites or they will just reap negatives. There is also potential for them to turn it to their advantage.